1998 was undoubtedly the year of the merger. More companies than ever before joined together in deals that toatalled $2.25 trillion and created the world's biggest oil company. Faced with plummeting oil prices,oil giants Exxon and Mobil sought to achieve economies of scale through a $250bn merger

there are several factors behind increase in mergers and acquisitions. Firstly, the accelerated rate of globalisation has left companies desperately seeking overseas acquisitions in order to remain competitive. Deutsche Bank bought its way into the US with its takeover of the Bankers Trust,whilst Siemens hopes that its acquisition of Matra,the French defense group,will allow it to gain access to France's railway business,which is dominated by Alstom,the Anglo-French consortium.

Another factor behind the increase in merger activity is the record performance of the stock markets,which has enabled companies to finance major acquisitions on the strength of their inflated shareprices. Earlier this year Vodafone,the UK mobile telephone operator,acquired its US counterpart AirTorch by by making Airtorch shareholders a cash and stock swap offer worth a total $62bn. The deal created Vodafone AirTorch,the world's largest mobile telecoms group with over 29m European banking sector is also seeing a trend towards consolidation,a process accelerated by deregulation, over-capacity and the arrival of the single European currency.

New technology is also making it easier for companies to diversify as different industries come to rely on common technologies. Microsoft, for instance, is busily diversified into cable and telecommunications as well as WebTV. The US software giant has a $5bn equity stake in AT&T, which recently bought Media One for $57bn. Under the deal, Microsoft will succeed in introducing its recently-launched cable television software into millions of homes in the US and UK.

Not all mergers,however,are the result of global economy trends, polical change or technological innovation. BMW's takeover of the Rover Group injected much needed investment into the struggling UK car manufacturer whilst extending BMW's product range. and when the UK pharmaceutical firm Zeneca merged with Swedish drug company Astra,the new companies started with strong R&D capabilities,further by the world's best selling drug Losec in its portfolio of products. Despite of these potential benefits and their promise of competive advantage,mergers and acquisitions are not risk-free ventures.

Such alliances are more than just financial agreements;they also involve the coming together of different corporate and, in many cases,national cultures. This can have a destabilising effect on a workforce and may mean projected efficiencies are not delivered. Daimler and Chrysler, for example, face the challenge of integrating two very different corporate and national cultures.

A further destabilising effect is the prospect of redundancies as companies look to reduce their payroll by restructuring duplicated functions such as marketing and administration. Although shareholders are lured by such short-term savings,there is little evidence to show that mergers and acquisitions actually add long-term value to company performance.

中文译稿: 企业档案:兼并的魔力1998年无疑是个兼并年。历史上从来没有这么多的公司进行兼并,交易总值达到22500亿美元,从而产生了全球最大的银行和石油公司。在石油价格暴跌的情况下,石油巨擘埃克森和美孚为寻求规模经济的效应而达成了2500亿美元的并购交易。




由于不同 开始运用相同的技术,所以新技术也有助于公司实现市场多元化。比如,微软就忙于向电缆通讯、移动通讯及网络电视行业拓展。这家网络巨擘在美国电信电话公司拥有50亿美元的股权,而美国电信电话公司最近又以570亿美元的价格收购了有线网络运营公司。在这笔交易中,微软公司成功地将其新发布的有线电视软件推向数以百万计的美国和英国家庭。





1、Exxon and Mobil merged in order to ( )
A、enter new overseas markets. B、reduce costs and improve margins. C、create the world's largest company. D、undercut competitors' prices.
2、Vodafone was able to accquire Air Touch by ( )
A、selling highly-valued shares to customers. B、obtaining a loan based on its share value. C、exchanging shares as part of the deal. D、buying under-valued Air Touch shares.
3、Merged companies can usually increase short-term profits by ( )
A、cutting their combined labour costs. B、boosting the company's productivity. C、using a single marketing campaign. D、selling their shares at a high price.

1、B 答案信息在第一段最后一句“sought to achieve economies of scale”。规模效益是指随着经营规模的扩大,单位成本下降从而获得经济效益。2、C 答案信息位于第三段中“cash and stock swap”。该方法意味着AirTouch公司的股东除了能拿现金之外,还能拿到沃达丰公司的股票。3、A 答案信息在最后一段“ reduce their payroll by restructuring duplicated functions such as marketing and administration”在职能重叠的市场和行政。